One of the things that I have been pondering for quite some time now is how to properly organise discussions/topics on community sites/forums.
Most forums end up having HUGE threads about specific topics. An example on experts.feverbee.com is:
A lot of replies, small discussions which quickly get drowned in new introductions.
Lots of suggestions, discussions about those suggestions but it’s hard to keep track because everything is ordered chronologically.
Threaded discussions would be a logical solution but I’ve never really seen that work.
Lots of small forums (i.e. an ‘introductions’ forum on Feverbee) would lead to an explosion of categories.
Splitting topics is cumbersome and hard to do because lots of discussions are strongly intertwined in those topics.
On my site we have a lot of ‘central’ topics. I.e. a topic about Game of Thrones, about suggestions for Christmas presents, about cute kitten photo’s, etc, etc. they work, but it’s impossible to have a proper discussion in one of them or to really keep track of followup posts.
I did see that more modern software (like Discourse) enables you to refer to a previous posts in a smoother way than by quoting the reply (like vBulletin and the likes do). But that’s still not exactly optimal in my opinion.
What do you think?
Do you recognise this problem?
Have you solved it?